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A drinking glass during the Middle Ages, a Venice glass became a synonym for perfection in the time.

These legendary vessels were said to be of such perfect composition and design that if even the smallest bit of poison were put into them, they would break into small shards, therefore protecting the intended victim from harm or death.

Obviously this would be seen as a most highly valuable possession for the upper class to possess, especially those of the courts of Europe, and it is reported that the Vatican and the Renaissance popes invested a great sum of money to ensure its drinking wares were of the finest Venetian glass.

Info from E. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

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